In today’s world we face an issue of growing population, resulting in shortage of developable spaces which can be used for living. Also, with the changing global economic structure, the affordability and the cost of living is skyrocketing. The most feasible solution to this problem is by developing innovative habitable structures in small spaces. Also, the furniture and the construction technique plays an important role while designing such tiny spaces. Therefore, innovative design strategies should be implemented worldwide. So, let’s see some of the innovative examples of how beautifully the architecture in small or congested areas can be designed.

1. Versailles by Catseye Bay

It is a 36 square meter flat which was designed by the firm Catseye Bay. Containing three rooms- a bedroom, a kitchen, and a bathroom, the designer was asked to make room for living as well as dining. The largest addition is a wooden structure which is about two meters high and projects out diagonally from one of the bedroom walls. Storage areas for clothing and shoes along with a dressing area are on one side of the structure. Whereas the bed and a seating bench are on the side which is invisible to the individual when he enters the room. Also, a shelving unit is added in the kitchen with a worktop that extends to create a dining space.

Versailles by Catseye Bay- Sheet1
Versailles by Catseye Bay ©dezeen
Versailles by Catseye Bay- Sheet2
Versailles by Catseye Bay ©dezeen

2. 22-meter-square Taiwan apartment

A studio known as ‘A little design’ has renovated a micro-apartment. The apartment includes a bath, floor to ceiling storage as well as a space for exercise. One entire wall of the living room, covering 3.3 meters of height is converted into a storage area featuring wardrobes at the bottom (more accessible) whereas the upper area can be accessed with the help of a ladder for the items which the client needs occasionally. The living room is kept bare for exercising but two tables are arranged at the edges for dining and bar. This is a perfect example of utilizing space as per the client’s needs.

22-meter-square Taiwan apartment- Sheet1
22-meter-square Taiwan apartment ©A little design
22-meter-square Taiwan apartment- Sheet2
22-meter-square Taiwan apartment ©A little design

3. Salva46 by Miel Arquitectos and Studio P10- Shared micro-living

It is a shared apartment in Barcelona with each unit containing areas for sleep, relaxation, work, and hygiene, along with a shared central kitchen, dining and living area. Both the units get the benefit of the windows for natural light which also spreads in the central common area through translucent panels. Also, solid sliding doors are placed at both ends to provide privacy. Also, individual rooms feature a double bed, working area, and storage space along with access to the balcony. 

4. Narrow house by Fujiwaramuro Architects

A small family dwelling located on a narrow street in a dense neighbourhood Of Osaka, Japan is built by Fujiwaramuro Architects. The site is 3.74 meters wide and 16.31 meters deep. The architects came up with the “shelf-staircase” concept due to the constraints of the site. The shelf-staircase is structurally independent of the overall building and comprises passages, shelves, a desk, and a living space. Skylights at the top of the slits help in filtering the sunlight pleasantly. In the midst of a congested area, this dwelling is a perfect example of how well space can be used to meet the demands of the residents and provide them the space they need.

Narrow house by Fujiwaramuro Architects- Sheet1
Narrow house ©i.pinimg
Narrow house by Fujiwaramuro Architects- Sheet2
Narrow house ©designboom

5. Single occupancy dwelling in concrete water pipes

Hong Kong has transformed concrete water/sewage pipes into cosy low-cost housing. These pipes can be fitted together and stacked in narrow and otherwise un-developable spaces between buildings. The units which are large enough for two people would be accessible through an external staircase. Ar. James Law has used a lot of techniques to provide maximum usable space. The sofa can be turned into a bed, the flexible shelving system is customizable, micro-fridge along with a small microwave, and hygiene area. This is not functional yet but a prototype. Yet, Law believes that this will be an efficient solution for congested areas. 

6. Silo House by Architect Christoph Kaiser

Located in Phoenix, Arizona, the silo house is a tiny urban house in a repurposed grain silo. It was small enough to fit in his pickup truck. It is a two-storey structure with the first floor having a kitchen, a small dining area, and the living room. Whereas, the bedroom is designed on the second floor with motorized skylight for natural light along with ample storage area. Also, the bedroom features a boudoir into a cosy home theatre. The silo has a tiny backyard with vegetable garden beds and outdoor seating.

Silo House by Architect Christoph Kaiser- Sheet1
Silo House by Architect Christoph Kaiser ©ChristophKaiser.com
Silo House by Architect Christoph Kaiser- Sheet2
Silo House by Architect Christoph Kaiser ©ChristophKaiser.com

7. Love House/Takeshi Hosaka

The Love house is a house for a couple designed on a small site of 33 square meters in China. Along the width and depth of the building, the curved is designed and stairs are placed along for connecting the first floor to the second floor. The Space in this dwelling “is not inside and is not outside” according to the designer as nature blends in with the interior of the space and natural lighting plays a key role for the same.

Love House/Takeshi Hosaka- Sheet1
Love House/Takeshi Hosaka ©Masao Nishikawa
Love House/Takeshi Hosaka- Sheet2
Love House/Takeshi Hosaka ©Masao Nishikawa

8. Rooftecture OT2

Designed by Ar. Shuhei Endo, the 127-meter square Rooftecture OT2 is located on a busy street of Osaka. It is surrounded by buildings on three sides except for the north. Perforated metal steel sheet wall is designed for the facade facing the north. Hence, visual interaction is limited but facilitates light and breeze into the structure. The skylights and holes in the folded plate allow a variety of shadow and light patterns throughout the day.

Rooftecture OT2- Sheet1
Rooftecture OT2 ©Stirling Elmendorf
Rooftecture OT2- Sheet2
Rooftecture OT2 ©Stirling Elmendorf

9. House 77 by dIONISO LAB

House 77 is situated in the city of Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal, which is mainly known for sea and fishing. The house is organized in a vertical way. In order to achieve visual amplitudes and dynamic interactions between spaces, the interior of the structure is divided into the half floor. For the west side facade, aluminium Venetian blinds are used. Also, the stainless steel panels are perforated with “siglas poveiras”. These are the symbols which were once used as a way of communication.

House 77 by dIONISO LAB- Sheet1
House 77 ©dIONISO LAB
House 77 by dIONISO LAB- Sheet2
House 77 ©dIONISO LAB

10. Riverside House Suginami By Kota Mizuishi

The house is located on a small triangular site between the river and a road in Tokyo. Designed by Kota Mizuishi, the riverside house is designed for a small dwelling for a couple and their daughter. Most of the space in the house is taken by the living room, kitchen, and dining. Inside the structure, the sloping loft packs two rooms into one. The house features creative angles to fit the maximum amount of furniture in order to provide comfort to the users.

House 77 by dIONISO LAB
Riverside House Suginami By Kota Mizuishi ©Hiroshi Tanigawa
Arundhati Chitnis
Author

Arundhati Chitnis is an architect and a writer based in Dubai. She believes in the architecture which can cater the needs of the users and hence apply user centric approach in her designs. Also, she believes every structure has a story to tell, we just have to give it a voice.

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